Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, has called on regional stakeholders and governments to offer more assistance to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

Speaking last night at the opening ceremony of the Seventh Meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee and the launch of CDEMA???s 25th anniversary celebrations, Mr. Brathwaite stressed that lack of support for the Agency at the regional level was severely hindering that organisation???s development.

???We are supposed to be the ones to help them charter the path to assist them in terms of their governance and other issues, and unless we do basic things like attend meetings or respond to round robins and engage the organisation, then we cannot expect them to move from strength to strength,??? he said.

The Attorney General, who is also the outgoing Chair of CDEMA???s Council of Ministers, also expressed displeasure with the financial support given to the regional body.

???If there is one area that in all seriousness that we need ministerial intervention and prime ministerial intervention is the whole issue of how do we ensure that CDEMA becomes as self-financing as possible? We cannot depend on our partners and international partners.

???While we are grateful for much of the work our partners have done with us in terms of initiatives and financial contributions, we recognise that their priorities for various reasons have changed and will continue to change. Therefore, as a region we need to be more self-reliant, and CDEMA is but one example of a regional institution that [requires] us to take ownership and ensure that it is able to discharge its mandate.???

The outgoing Chairman added that as CDEMA celebrated its 25th anniversary, it was a time for reflection and introspection as they sought to plan for the future.

???I invite you to look back at the last 25 years see the things that you have done well, and the things that you want to take forward for the next 25 years. Look at the things that you have not done well and, of course, [realise] that with climate change and other issues on the horizon, your service and expertise might be required even more over the next 25 years and that you can satisfy the demand of the region???, ??? said Mr. Brathwaite.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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